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Jessi tackles some more questions from viewers: How did Kemo get his name, snake bites, pick 1 animal, and sick fish.

Snake Bite Question:

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Welcome to Animal Wonders! I'm Jessi. We've had a lot of questions building up over the last couple weeks and I thought I'd tackle them today. 


Geecee asks: Do you have a word/term/call/name for animals who aren't "ambassadors"? Like maybe those who aren't comfortable for public appearances, or those who are secondary?

I would consider all of our animals ambassadors because even if they can't tolerate being in front of an audience or traveling to shows, they still teach about their species through our online educational avenues. 

Take Chongo for instance -- lilac-crowned Amazon parrot. He's going through a moult right now so we decided to give him a little bit of a shower.

He had a lot of fun. Huh buddy? You liked it. (Bird chirps) Yeah!

He was rescued in 2008. He's never become comfortable in front of an audience or going into a crate to travel to a show. So he didn't travel to our public presentations but that's okay because his story is still up on our website teaching about abuse and neglect in parrots, and really the exotic pet trade and how it can go wrong. So I would definitely consider him an ambassador for Amazon parrots or any exotic animal in general. 

We also have animals that take up to a year to become comfortable doing public presentations, so just because they aren't doing shows at the present doesn't mean that they won't in the future. 

(Bird chirps) 

Next question by Ram Villanueva: Have you been bitten by your snakes before?

I have been bitten before but I don't think it's cool to brag about it because if you've been injured by an animal it means you've made a mistake. That being said, I've been bitten by two snakes. 

I would like to share my bite stories with you, but I don't want to do it in this episode because they are kind of lengthy and non-dramatic. But they are good lessons to learn from so if you would like to watch that, click here. 

Next question! Mary Margaret Yapp asks: How did Kemo get his name?

Kemosabe is what Tonto calls the lone ranger. The closest translation means "friend", so I guess I was hoping this new porcupine that we're gonna rescue was going to be my friend. Sometimes names just pop in and fit perfectly. 

Next question! David Baker asks: If you had one animal what would it be? And how long did it take you to build your cages around and in your house? 

David, there are way too many variables in this imaginary world where I'd only befriend one animal, this isn't a fair question. 

The building question isn't much easier to answer but I'll try. It took us about two months to complete the first structure and until then they lived in our room. It took about two years to complete the next structure, which is where most of the animals are housed now. And then we've been adding on when and where we can over the last several years. Like this double mew! (2:32)

We're currently building a new expansion for Chili Pepper and Pickles the cavies, and also an additional indoor room, and who knows what animal's gonna go in there. 

The next two questions are about fish so I wanted to introduce our fish tank. Now I'm not an expert on fish, so I consulted my husband Augusto to help me out with these questions. 

Noobphobic asks: Are the respiratory organs in salt water fish different than in fresh water fish? How so?

The respiratory organs are the same in both kinds of fish. They both use their gills to obtain oxygen from the water and the salt does not impact that method. But the process of osmoregulation, or regulating the salt-to-water ratio is different. So if you'd like to learn more about osmoregulation, there's a video by SciShow you can check that out right here. 

And the next fish question from Stephanie Laflamme... La Flah meh... : So we have two goldfish in an aquarium with filter and we use the right products and everything, one of them in doing great and the other is swimming less and less. He eats a bit, but that's it. We used treatment for fungi and gave him peas -- peas can be good for swim bladders? -- but nothing is happening. Any ideas? 

Caring for fish is actually more involved than most people think, and I wish I could tell you exactly what's going on with your fish, but there's so many variables going on there that the only foolproof way is to really check all your bases. 

Tank size, water quality, filter function, behavior and diet. 

Now the reason you've probably heard to give your fish peas for their swim bladder is because they're usually constipated and then the space for the bladder is taken up by the built up feces. 

The way to fix this problem is to temporarily give your fish extra fiber, which will help get things moving. And you can offer them other things besides peas like lettuce, cucumber or zucchini. 

The cause of the constipation is often due to a diet high in protein, so a re-evaluation of your diet is needed. 

If you have more questions about fish please let us know, leave them in the comments below. We'd love to do an entire episode on fish. And maybe we can drag Augusto on to camera. He's a little reluctant so be nice.
And thank you so much for all of you that have sent in questions especially the ones that I've answered today. If you guys have any more questions please leave them in the comments below or you can find me on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook throughout the week.

See you next week guys, thanks!


This beautiful lady is Joy the blue-and-gold macaw and she was rescued in July 2013 so we've had almost 2 years to get to know each other.